Social Norms National Research & Resources
  Press Kit
  Press Coverage
  Press Releases

Richard Rice
(815) 753-9745
National Social Norms Resource Center Social Science Research Institute
Northern Illinois University

(Dekalb, IL) July 6, 2004, — The seventh annual National Social Norms Conference will be held July 21-23, 2004 at the Hyatt McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Over 40 individuals—from college, high school, and community health professionals, to university administrators and researchers—will be presenting their work related to various aspects of the social norms approach.
Social norms is the widely discussed method of public health promotion based on communicating accurate information about the prevalence of healthy behavior in order to foster its growth. The social norms approach has been used to effectively reduce the prevalence of high-risk drinking among college and university students, to reduce alcohol consumption and cigarette use among high school students, and to promote adolescent seat-belt use in a community-wide setting, among other applications

Research findings to be presented at the National Social Norms Conference include:

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) STARR MVP: Five Division III schools in the Northeast and Midwest report on the positive results achieved using social norms to promote health among student athletes
  • Accurate Perception of the College Student Drinking Norm Reduces Risk: A Nationwide Evaluation of Alcohol Abuse Prevention Efforts: Findings from the largest national study to date, base on National College Health Assessment data, showing that reducing misperceptions of peer norms significantly reduces high-risk drinking and negative consequences.
  • Effectiveness of Social Norms at the High School and Community Level: Case studies from several communities in Illinois, including Evanston and Naperville Townships, using social norms to reduce teen alcohol and cigarette use.
  • SUNY Stony Brook: Two studies: 1) The predictors of male college students’ willingness to prevent rape in the context of social norms and peer influence theories. 2) Integrating social norms into other areas of college life such as hygiene and work request timeliness
  • Florida State University: Examination of the positive impact of a three-year social norms-based approach that has reduced high-risk drinking at a large public institution
  • Manchester, UK: City Centre Safe program, an effective policy intervention using social norms principles that has resulted in reductions of violent crime.
  • Planned Parenthood New York City: Promoting positive parenting practices using social norms approach to help protect teens from sexual risk-taking

Among those presenting at the conference are:

  • H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Sarah Dufresne, Assistant Director of Education Outreach, NCAA
  • Jean Peden, Assistant Director of College Housing, Stony Brook University
  • Jerrold Stein, Ed.D., Dean of Students, Stony Brook University
  • Michael Smith, M.P.A., Director, Florida Center for Prevention Research, Florida State University
  • Sergeant Jan Brown and Inspector Steve Greenacre, Manchester, UK Police
  • Sara Christensen, B.S., Community Program Development Coordinator, PEER Services, Inc.
  • Lisa Stone, M.D., MPH, SNAPPY, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • William Bacon, Ph.D., Assoc. VP for Research and Evaluation, Planned Parenthood of NYC
  • Linda Langford, Sc.D., Principal Investigator, SNAPPY, Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Linda Hancock, Ph.D., Director, Office of Health Promotion, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
  • Alan Berkowitz, Ph.D. Independent Consultant
  • Jeff Linkenbach, Ed.D., Director, Montana Social Norms Project
  • Michael Haines, M.S., Director, National Social Norms Resource Center

The National Social Norms Conference is a unique and exciting opportunity to meet and interact with the leading researchers, theorists and practitioners in social norms in this rapidly expanding area of health promotion. It is the only national conference devoted exclusively to this effective approach, and at no other meeting will so many issues and questions about social norms be so intensively explored and discussed.